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NASA MAVEN Prepares to Launch for Mars!

Date: 11/11/2013
Category: Mission News & Science
By: Eve Halligan


MAVEN: What Happened to Mars? A Planetary Mystery
Mars was once on track to become a thriving Earth-like planet, yet today it is an apparently lifeless wasteland. A NASA spacecraft named MAVEN will soon journey to Mars to find out what went wrong on the Red Planet.

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) Missionwill orbit Mars and study its atmosphere — helping researchers answer the question, what happened to the water on Mars? MAVEN is the first mission devoted to understanding the Martian upper atmosphere and will obtain critical measurements to help understand dramatic climate change on the red planet over its history.

MAVEN provides a variety of exciting opportunities for the public to become directly involved in the mission and discover how NASA’s robotic explorers are revolutionizing our understanding of the red planet! Consider inviting your local astronomy club and hosting a launch party for your community. Or host programs after the event to invite your patrons to learn more about the Earth’s planetary neighbor and our exploration and new discoveries. Several resources and programming ideas follow. Looking for more details or updates about the MAVEN launch, such as when launch will occur and where? For more specific and up-to-date launch information, please visit: http://www.nasa.gov/missions/highlights/schedule.htm.

The MAVEN spacecraft has been positioned atop the United Launch Alliance Atlas V inside its protective fairing at its launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (near Kennedy Space Center). Currently, everything is proceeding on schedule to launch Nov. 18 at 1:28 p.m. EST to begin MAVEN's mission to study the Martian upper atmosphere.

Visit http://science.nasa.gov/ for more breaking science news.

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